In August 2019, Apple filed a suit against security start-up Corellium. The California based tech giant accused it of copyright violation when the start-up launched its virtual emulator that allows researchers to find and test bugs in iOS products. A federal judge in Florida just ruled that there was no evidence copyright infringement, giving Corellium a historic victory against Apple inc.
Apple also accused Corellium of bypassing its security measures to create its iPhone emulator. That complaint, however, has not been addressed yet.
Corellium’s software gives security experts the chance to run security protocols on virtual iPhones on a browser on their computers, which allows for lower testing costs and deeper access into iOS. Apple claims this hampers security as it distributes access to iOS indiscriminately and without Apple’s approval.
Apple tried to buyout Corellium in 2018, in order to use its software for internal testing, but talks of a takeover fell through. After its attempts at acquiring the software company failed, Apple sued for copyright violation. Judge Rodney Smith, however, saw Apple’s copyright claims as, “puzzling, if not disingenuous.” He also found that Corellium had met its burden of establishing fair use, making its software legal and its use permissible. The court also heard convincing arguments from Corellium about how they vet their customers before giving them access; hence, quashing claims of a potential breach in security.
There is a history of Apple filing a copyright and patent infringement suits against other tech companies. It has also been criticized for making life difficult for security experts who try to test its platform for vulnerabilities. Apple has, of late, been trying to shed these criticisms. It launched its Security Research Device (SRD) Program that sends hacker-friendly iPhones to security experts so that they can find loopholes and bugs in its software. Hopefully, Apple can continue down this path and stop putting blockades in front of people who try their best to make iOS safer for its customers.